While basking in a hot shower the other morning I had my portable radio volume turned up to the max to override the swoosh of water bouncing off my shoulders. I was listening to FOX sports talk on AM 640. The hosts take on any sports subject—usually something that has occurred the previous day.

The morning after the 2018 NFC Championship game, the 640 sports gurus had conniption fits over a critical play with one minute and 43 seconds left in the NFL Championship game between the Rams and Saints. The game was a nailbiter. With the score tied at 20, on third and 10, the Saints QB Drew Brees threw a pass to receiver Tommy Lewis at the Rams seven-yard-line who was knocked down by Rams safety Nickell Robey-Colemen.

There was no flag, no interference, no call—period.

This has now been characterized as the worst (no) call in NFL history. All the world saw the play, including the seven referees who said they didn’t. Never saw it—all seven. This flimsy excuse should alone be the reason none of them referee again; not one of them came forward to call it as pass interference.

The broadcast networks tape every play and deploy instant replay to review questionable ones, plus coach’s challenges. However, to the surprise of everyone, there was no review of the obvious pass interference and the Rams eked out a 26-23 victory. If instant replay wasn’t used in this game then I’d say we just eliminate it and leave decisions up to the mortal human beings who make them.

The key to
accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.

–NEAL BOORTZ

Let’s face it: to make a mistake is human, and the no-call in the Saints game was a big one, illuminated for all the world to see. Every one of those referees, like the rest of us, must live with the consequences of making a bad decision. Like me: I don’t have instant replay in my life­—although I wish I did. I’d love it for some of the decisions I’ve made; as my own referee, I’d jump at the chance for a do-over now and then.

Bad news: the world doesn’t work that way. At birth you are given the gift of “free will,” the ability to choose between alternative courses of action. Bottom line, don’t blame your poor decision making on others. A man I once worked for told me, “Reasoned thought should precede judgement.” In other words carefully examine the alternatives presented, ask questions, and then make the decision that best meets your objective.

We all pay for the bad decisions we make. None of us can escape the onus of a choice that goes south. It’s painful, the emotional price tears you up inside, and you go to sleep berating yourself. There is nothing anyone can do but learn from bad decisions and take responsibility and ownership for them. As radio commentator Neal Boortz reminds us, “The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.”

Forget instant replay; let’s face the consequences of human error. That’s truly the essence of living.